Founded in 1857, Santander is a commercial and retail bank with a presence in 10 core markets in Europe and North and South America. Santander has 90 million customers, around 14,000 branches worldwide – more than any other international bank – and over 170,000 employees.
In the UK, we have over 1,300 branches, around 4,500 cash machines and provide a full range of retail and corporate banking services to 25 million customers.
Santander UK aims to build a better bank, one that is better for our customers and for our people. The vision is to become the employer of choice, embracing diversity to drive business success and to better serve our employees and our customers.
By retaining and attracting talented people we will have a more engaged workforce, one which is better able to reflect and connect to our customer base and ultimately increase our market share.
Achieving equality, diversity and inclusion within the workplace is good for business, good for our people and good for society. This is a compelling business case for taking action on workplace diversity.
A key metric in analysing workforce engagement is theSantanderEmployee Opinion Survey (EOS), which acts as the first step towards increasing commitment and pride in the organisation. The EOS in recent years highlighted some concerns around the valueSantanderplaced on making the workplace more flexible.
These concerns galvanised HR to create an improved Reward proposition to engage with employees across the business as well as specific groups, such as parents and individuals with other caring responsibilities.
A new reward proposition comprising of two core strands was created:
- ‘Passport to Balancing your Life’ - open to all employees but specifically addressing the needs of women.
- ‘Passport to Parenting’ - providing a comprehensive parenting proposition - allowing employees to create a bespoke reward package that matches their personal requirements.
The Passport to Balancing Your Life proposition includes the following key initiatives:
Flexibility at Work
As part ofSantander’s overall approach to managing diversity and encouraging women to grow within the business, we developed a flexible working policy that goes beyond the statutory minimum to allow all employees (regardless of whether they have young children or not) to request a change to their working arrangements. This can be for a range of reasons, including the need to care for children or elderly parents, to pursue further education or another interest or hobby. In addition to part time working, other options include:
- Annualised hours
- Compressed working
- Career breaks
Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)
To ensure that the provision of health and wellbeing measures extend beyond the workplace,Santanderset up an independent telephone helpline that is available to employees and their immediate family members. The helpline offers independent and confidential expert guidance and advice on a wide range of issues such as illness, stress and childcare.
Emergency Childcare, Out of School Care & Eldercare
Santanderwas the first retail bank to offer a provision to its workforce in 2009. The service helps employees balance their childcare and eldercare needs with their work responsibilities by providing access to emergency childcare, out of school care and eldercare services. This service is designed to provide immediate access to certified and accredited carers and a range of specialist support and advice services for unexpected periods of care while employees are at work.
The Passport to Parenting proposition includes:
Workplace Nursery Partnership
Access to a national group of nurseries at discounted rates.
To pay for childcare allowing our employees substantial savings on Tax and NI when purchased through our salary sacrifice scheme.
Flexible Saver for Kids Account
AtSantanderwe are committed to helping employees give their family the best start in life and we know that a new addition to the family is a time of celebration so we will reimburse up to the first £40 paid into a Flexible Saver for Kids account opened in the new arrival’s name. As further recognition for service and contribution to the company, we will also reimburse up to £20 on the 5th, 10th and 15th anniversary of the child’s birth or placement date if the individual is still working for us at that time.
We have achieved formal accreditation by Tommy's and are recognised as a company who is a leader in managing pregnancy in the workplace. By gaining accreditation our employees get a number of benefits including a Tommy's Guide to workplace pregnancy (and a matching guide for line managers), plus access to an Ask the Midwife Service.
An assessment of the impact Passport to Parenting has had a year on from its launch is about to commence. However, we know that in the three years following the launch of the Passport to Balancing your Life only 7% of formal applications for Flexible Working are declined. We also know that the number of nominations for our Best People Boss Competition – which has a dedicated category to recognise managers who are creating a positive culture - has increased from just over 500 in 2008 to over 1,300 in 2010 and again in 2011.